A Moment in History with Ahistorian, Benny Morris

Posted on January 27, 2009


Benny Morris was on KQED Radio’s Forum, with Michael Krazny today, issuing an inordinately vast amount of disinformation about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Krazny seemed to be thinking of other things throughout the interview and rarely challenged any of Morris’ views, though some were definitely a matter of fact, not opinion and were obviously wrong to anyone with even a fundamental knowledge of the region’s history. I called in, and despite the fact that I never make on to call in shows, was put on a few minutes later, perhaps because they were looking for someone with an Arab name.  There’s a little bit of his response to a previous caller that I included for the shear mendacity of his claims. Here’s a link to the exchange:

Many things are striking about Morris’ comments in this clip:

1. His startling claim that “we don’t really know what goes on in Egyptian society”. This claim is almost too absurd to qualify with a response, as if Egyptians are electrons in a discussion about Schroedinger’s cat.

2. His claim that Egyptians “calling for the ending of peace with Israel” means “essentially that they want to destroy Israel”. Again, the cowardly logic is shocking, but is repeated later without comment by Krazny.

3. “The three hundred thousand Arab of East Jerusalem have every right of citizenship if they wish to exercise it.” Whether or not this is true, and there is some doubt as to the ease by which a Palestinian born in Jerusalem can become an Israeli citizen, there is the simple fact that Palestinians born in what Israel considers its territory are not given the same rights as Israeli Jews–that is the status of citizen–at birth. The real question is: why should a 20 year old Palestinian born in Israel seek out citizenship, simply because he and his parents were born Palestinian rather than Jewish, and in Jerusalem rather than Haifa? Morris’ lame excuse that Jerusalemite Palestinians should be denied citizenship at birth simply because their parents and grandparents turned down the privilege forty one years ago, would be risible outside of the bizarre discourse used by proponents of Israeli apartheid who wish to claim that they live in a democracy. Luckily, Morris doesn’t need to justify anything while Krazny is on guard.

4. Morris ends his response to me with the following flourish:

“you may not like it, you may think that five and a half million Jews in Israel should be murdered, or allow its enemies to murder them”.

Accusing people who disagree with Israeli talking points of wanting to “murder” Jews is indeed the lowest form of discourse–one invented especially for people like Morris, who have no other way to justify the acts they cheer from the sidelines. Krazny moved on without remarking on the inflammatory remark.

You can listen to the entire interview here:

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